Theists who argue about first cause are coffee table philosophers. They assume that the universe began fully formed and argue how that happened. The modern level of causality and non causality in the universe was a process which took about three minutes. As this happened quanta were slowly trapped in the net of causality which created mass and then the "something appeared from nothing" creating matter, first as plasma (like the sun's atmosphere) then after several hundred thousand years, ordinary matter in the form of hydrogen and helium.
Lawrence Krauss' theory of a universe from nothing is a consistent description of how universes begin "because they can" without causality. No theory of the universe which claims causality for the Big Bang has any evidence to support it whatsoever, whether it is a god or a scientific explanation such as a rebounding universe. The evidence is going in the direction of Krauss with self assembling causality and zero energy of creation.
You are the only atheist who is actually facing reality in this thread.
That doesn't mean you are right : - ) but you are honestly and intelligently facing the issues.
minor point 1 -
I do not assume the universe began fully formed. I am not even certain that it began at all ie it may have always existed and its form is quite likely to have changed dramatically through time.
minor point 2 -
Your text above sounds like you are expressing some certainty about the first 3 minutes of the universe! I'll assume that you are simply expressing a theory held by some people. Because surely making claims about the first 3 minutes is almost certainly as unverifiable as someone making claims about the alleged 7 days of biblical creation!
Any mention of such theories should contain a very tentative 'maybe' in every sentence.
major point -
But more significantly I am interpreting you to be saying that non-causality is a more basic phenomenon than causality and that causality can and sometimes does arise or emerge from(?) or within(?) a non physical(?) background which is perhaps best described by the term 'nothing'!
If you are saying something like this then not only do I agree with you but something akin to this must necessarily be true. Not because of dogma (which can never determine truth) but because causality itself is essentially a secondary phenomenon by its very nature.
Richard Dawkins said on Australian TV that 'nothing' is turning out to be a very complex thing (or words to that effect). He got a bit upset when the studio audience laughed - but cosmologists know what he is talking about and know that there is good sense in it.
Some cultures speak of 'the void' as rather than what we might think of as 'complete absence', more like an essential primitive nature from which everything else may emerge (and to which everything will return).
Another name for this general concept could be 'possibility' itself - unmanifested.
And may I add one more name for this difficult to describe phenomenon - The uncaused
I'm generally not expecting a positive response to this message Foxy but I will be very interested to hear your take.